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  More than 120 learn to swim with LA Splash & Water Safety

LAPLACE — Fifty-three adults and more than 70 children attended swimming lessons this month through St. John the Baptist Parish and Louisiana Splash and Water Safety.
Certified Water Safety Instructor Melynie Wright was pleased to see so many adults turn out for swim lessons this year. Water safety has a generational effect that ripples far beyond the individual learning to swim; according to Wright, an adult learning to swim today can teach their children or grandchildren tomorrow. An adult learning to swim could also become a person who rescues a child drowning in a pool at a party.
Robin Bailey attended adult swim lessons last week at Belle Terre.
“My son has a new in-ground pool, and my grandchildren are always saying, ‘Come on MeMe, let me teach you how to swim.’ I thought that I would get out here and take some swimming lessons so I can spend more time in the pool with them,” Burl said.
During her first lesson, she learned proper breathing techniques and arm formation.
​Several adults were by her side, learning together.
​Elois Joseph has participated in water aerobics for as long as classes have been offered in St. John Parish, but she never knew how to float or swim. The idea of being suspended in water frightened her, and attending Louisiana Splash and Water Safety’s adult swim lessons was a step toward feeling more comfortable in the pool.
“This is my second lesson,” Joseph said last week. “I’m still nervous, but Melynie worked with my today, and I’m starting to get out of that fear.”
Youth swim classes offered through Louisiana Splash and Water Safety are just as essential.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission cites drowning as the second-leading cause of death in children under the age of 5. Approximately 350 children under age 5 drown in pools each year, while an additional 2,600 children are treated for near-drownings annually.
Wright and fellow American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Anita Hefler have offered swim instruction in the River Parishes for many years. This year, Keith Green of the St. John District Attorney’s Office assisted with children’s swimming lessons at REGALA Pool in Reserve.
Several St. John Parish deputies have also partnered with Louisiana Splash and Water Safety for water safety classes, which will be offered in the near future.
First responder swim lessons, water aerobics classes, private/public pool safety consultations and water safety education are among the services Louisiana Splash and Water Safety offers.
While the pandemic has not decreased the need for water safety education, it has decreased financial support from businesses and private donors. Donations are needed for Louisiana Splash and Water Safety to make swim lessons and other services accessible to all.
For more information, email louisianasplashandwatersafety@gmail.com, visit lasplashandwatersafety.org or call 225-328-6084.